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Course content

The MA in Music allows you to develop and refine your knowledge and understanding in areas of musicological and/or ethnomusicological study. The programme will equip you with the skills and methodologies to undertake specialist research in your chosen area of expertise, and will hone high-level skills in critical thinking, conceptual thinking, problem-solving, analysis, communication, self-direction and originality.

Specialism is offered in a range of areas, including Western music history (from around 900 CE to the present day), editing, analysis, popular music, music in society (Western and non-Western), and music in Wales.

You will work closely with established researchers, most of whom have international profiles. The School enjoys close links with industrial and third-sector partners such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Venue Cymru and the North Wales Jazz Society, and it is often possible for students to undertake a work placement during the course of the programme.

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Course Content

The programme is divided into two parts: two semesters of taught study (Part 1, 120 credits) and a substantial independent piece of work in the main area, produced over the summer (Part 2, 60 credits). Teaching is provided through a combination of individual tuition and small-group seminars.

Part 1 (diploma):

All students take the Current Musicology module in the first semester, through which you will become familiar with the latest techniques and discourses in the discipline.

This module is complemented by two case studies (one in each semester), chosen from a range of options growing out of staff specialisms, allowing you to experience musicological research at the cutting edge. Current options include:

  • Music History in Context
  • Early Music
  • Music Since 1900
  • Music in Society
  • Contemporary Music Practice

In the second semester, you will also complete a supervised Independent Research Project on a topic of your own choice. This leads to the Part 2 Project.

Part 2 (MA):

The Part II Project normally takes the form of a dissertation, although it is also possible to complete a critical edition or an analysis.

Modules for the current academic year

Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Music Modules page.

Careers and Employability

The MA in Music will give you a taste for original research, and will provide you with subject-specific knowledge and academic skills that will set you on course for further study at PhD level and beyond. The programme will also equip you with skills in critical thinking, analysis and communication which are valued by employers both within and outside the field of music. Recent graduates have pursued successful careers as writers, editors, arts administrators, teachers, educational advisers, performers, and business people.


Visit the Music - MA/PGDip/PGCert page on the Bangor University website for more details!

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